Protests were held across the State, including in Chennai as part of the call given by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee (AIKSCC), which comprises of over 250 farmer and farm-worker organisations for a Bharat bandh. In the city, CPM state secretary and AIKSCC state coordinator K Balakrishnan led the road -roko and burned the copies of the Bills. “Narendra Modi government should immediately repeal the bills which wants to handover the agriculture sector to the corporates. These Bills have not been democratically debated in Parliament and have been passed in an authoritarian manner, by violating rules” he said. Hitting out at the Chief Minister, he said that Palaniswami who claims to be a farmer himself, says the law is good. “Under these laws, corporates can purchase and stock agricultural and groceries without any restriction. By creating artificial shortages, people will have to buy at prices set by the corporates,” he alleged. He added that the protest would continue until the laws are withdrawn.
Delta farmers join ‘Bharat bandh’, warn of intense protests in future
Marking their strident opposition to the three farm Bills passed by Parliament, farmers went on protest marches and staged road blockades at many parts of the country, including in the Delta districts of Tamil Nadu, on Friday.
Farmers across the Cauvery Delta intensified their agitation, declaring that it would go on till the Centre repealed the Bills.
At Tiruchy, Desiya Thennindiya Nadhigal Inaippu Sangam members, led by State president P Ayyakannu, staged a ‘shirtless protest’ in front of the Collectorate. The protesters were arrested when they blocked the road. In Thanjavur, farmers led by All Indian Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee and Tamil Nadu Vivasayigal Sangam staged agitation at the new bus stand in Thanjavur before 200 of them were arrested and removed.
Protests were also held in Tiruvarur, Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Karur, Perambalur and Ariyalur districts. In all, around 3,000 protesters were arrested for blocking traffic in various districts in the region.
The protests, part of the ‘Bharat bandh’ call given by several farmer unions was near-total in Punjab, where the ruling Congress and opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) hit the road, asking the Centre to repeal the bills. Among the protesters was Harsimrat Kaur Badal, a Union Minister till she quit few days ago to mark the party’s opposition to the Bills, who was by the side of her husband and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal on a tractor at Muktsar district.
Hundreds of farmers from Uttar Pradesh, who were headed to the national capital on tractors, two-wheelers and even on foot, were stopped at the border before they could enter. Similar protests were staged in its neighbouring Haryana, and also at Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and Karnataka.